Plant Life and Fungi

A Seed is Sleepy

Diana Hutts Aston
Sylvia Long

Sometimes a book comes along that is truly outstanding! The acknowledgments page alone of this new book by Dianna Hutts is truly impressive! The text is captivating, telling stories that fascinate young and old readers about all sorts of seeds. I bet many an amateur botanist will have never heard about some of these! The illustrations--just gorgeous--complement this high quality picture book. Our children are learning Botany this semester at Homeschool Co-op and this volume is an excellent enrichment. We have the authors' other one as well--An Egg Is Quiet--also excellent!

Handbook of Nature Study

Book cover: 'Handbook of Nature Study'
Anna Botsford Comstock

This is a very informative handbook on a large portion of nature, originally written for elementary school teachers. It covers wildlife, insects, farm animals, birds, fish, trees, flowers, weeds, vegetables, rocks, minerals, soil, climate, weather, magnets, the sun, moon, planets of our solar system and much more. According to the 1986 foreword, most of the living things described are common in the northeastern states of the U.S. but it covers a lot of material that would be helpful in other parts of the country as well.

Why Do Leaves Change Color?

Book cover: 'Why Do Leaves Change Color?'
Betsy Maestro

Our family has really enjoyed this book which explains why leave fall off the trees before winter, where the different colors come from, how weather affects the brilliancy of the colors and lots more.

How do Apples Grow?

Book cover: 'How do Apples Grow?'
Betsy Maestro

The development of apples is presented, from leaf and flower buds in the winter, thru blossoms in the spring, pollination and the actual growth of the apple. In addition to beautiful scenic pictures of trees in blossom and bees pollinating the trees, there are more technical drawings which illustrate the parts of a flower, show flowers in the different stages of development and show the connections between the original blossom and the ripe apple. The text also introduces some important terminology that will be useful in later science studies (pollen, stamen, pistil, etc.).

How a Seed Grows

Book cover: 'How a Seed Grows'
Helene J. Jordan

A very simple, charming book that explains to young children what seeds are and takes them through the development of some bean seeds. The growth present each day is illustrated in the book and the child is invited to try grow the beans themselves and watch the progress in real life. The book also introduces children to different kinds of seeds (for trees, flowers, vegetables, etc.), and how each seed will grow into the same kind of plant that it came from, and the basic things necessary to make a plant grow.

Dead Log Alive!

Book cover: 'Dead Log Alive!'
Jo S. Kittinger

This book provides an interesting and detailed look at what comes to live in and around a dead log - woodpeckers, squirrels, mushrooms, fungi, moss, molds, porcupines, foxes, snakes, scorpions, millipedes, centipedes, pill bugs, salamanders, ants, termites, and beetles. Includes many interesting color photos and details about each species, how to tell them apart and much more. The book also includes an index, a glossary and suggestions for further reading.

Biology for Every Kid

Janice Van Cleave

In it's segment on "Experiments that Teach Us About Ourselves: The Amazing Human Body" this book provides 35 experiments about the body (the other segments of the book are about plant and animal life. While certainly not a comprehensive anatomy course, the book does provide interesting and simple experiments (which can easily performed at home with fairly ordinary materials) that would provide a helpful supplement to the study of anatomy.

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